Argenteuil is the second most populous commune in the suburbs of Paris (after Boulogne-Billancourt) and the most populous one in the Val-d'Oise department, although it is not its prefecture, which is shared between the communes of Cergy and Pontoise.
The name Argenteuil is recorded for the first time in a royal charter of 697 as Argentoialum, from a Latin/Gaulish root argento meaning "silver", "silvery", "shiny", perhaps in reference to the gleaming surface of the river Seine, on the banks of which Argenteuil is located, and from a Celtic suffix -ialo meaning "clearing, glade" or "place of".
¹This group is made up largely of former French settlers, such as pieds-noirs in Northwest Africa, followed by former colonial citizens who had French citizenship at birth (such as was often the case for the native elite in French colonies), and to a lesser extent foreign-born children of French expatriates. Note that a foreign country is understood as a country not part of France in 1999, so a person born for example in 1950 in Algeria, when Algeria was an integral part of France, is nonetheless listed as a person born in a foreign country in French statistics.
²An immigrant is a person born in a foreign country not having French citizenship at birth. Note that an immigrant may have acquired French citizenship since moving to France, but is still considered an immigrant in French statistics. On the other hand, persons born in France with foreign citizenship (the children of immigrants) are not listed as immigrants.
Argenteuil has 207,43 criminal incidents per 1000 inhabitants, far higher than national average (83 per 1000) and even higher than the crime rate of the Val-d'Oise department (88.15 per 1000). Argenteuil is the most dangerous city of the Val-d'Oise département after Sarcelles and Garges-les-Gonesse.